PODCAST

Episode 224: Helen Ellis/The Audiobooks Episode

BY MEGAN LABRISE • July 13, 2021

Helen Ellis dishes on the audiobook for her ‘smart, sassy’ new essay collection.

On this week’s special Audiobooks episode, Helen Ellis discusses Bring Your Baggage and Don’t Pack Light (PRH Audio, July 13), available in hardcover from Doubleday. Ellis, the author of American Housewife and Southern Lady Codeand known audio-bibilophile—returns to Fully Booked to spread her love of listening to literature and talk brass tacks about what it’s like to record an audiobook.

Kirkus on Bring Your Baggage and Don’t Pack Light: “In this essay collection, Ellis considers her everyday world from the perspective of a quirky midlife Southern woman who sees the lighter side of everything, including dire situations. In the first piece, “Grown-Ass Ladies Gone Mild,” the author recounts a series of excursions with childhood friends….In “There’s a Lady at the Poker Table,” Ellis cheerfully details how the same Southern lady “primness” she undercuts throughout the book helped make her a formidable opponent in the all-male world of high-stakes poker. This smart, sassy, page-turning collection will appeal to fans of the author’s work as well as anyone who enjoys the quick-witted jocularity of a singular Southern woman who refuses to let anything—or anyone—get her down.”

Our podcast begins with Ellis telling host Megan Labrise she’ll make an audiobook lover out of her by the end of the interview (Ed. Note: Mission accomplished). The pair discuss what Ellis loves about audiobooks; some of the recent audiobooks she’s read and enjoyed; what it’s like to read and record your own nonfiction; what it’s like to have professional voice actors record your fiction; how to write a one-liner; the difference between a “character” and a “hoot”; Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret.; and much more.

And in a sponsored interview, Megan talks with Christine French Cully, editor-in-chief of Highlights for Children, about Dear Highlights: What Adults Can Learn from 75 Years of Letters and Conversations with Kids (Highlights Press, Aug. 10). This poignant, astonishing anthology reveals the perennial—and novel—real-world concerns of kids from 1947 to today.

Then editors Vicky Smith, Laura Simeon, and Tom Beer discuss everything audiobooks.

 

Editorsaudiobook picks:

Deacon King Kong by James McBride (Riverhead)

Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay (Kokila)

The Barren Grounds by David A. Robertson (Puffin/Penguin Random House Canada)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (Amulet/Abrams)

Furia by Yamile Saied Méndez (Algonquin)

A Sitting in St. James by Rita Williams-Garcia (Quill Tree Books/HarperCollins)

Hana Khan Carries On by Uzma Jalaluddin (Berkley)

Raceless: In Search of Family, Identity, and the Truth About Where I Belong by Georgina Lawton (Perennial/HarperCollins)

Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia (Rick Riordan Presents/Disney)

Rez Dogs by Joseph Bruchac (Dial Books)

A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life by George Saunders (Random House)

Yearbook by Seth Rogen (Crown)

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter (Harper/HarperCollins)

The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante (Europa Editions)

 

Thanks to our advertisers this week:

Carta de Tita Bety para mi mieto Leo: Dichos que aprendí en México by Beatriz Ruiz Silva

The Flight of the Veil by Bruce Berger

The Flapper, the Scientist, and the Saboteur by Charlene Bell Dietz

Deluge in a Paper Cup by Jennifer Kite-Powell

 

Fully Booked is produced by Cabel Adkins Audio and Megan Labrise.

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